RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Dennis Rogers is retiring after 31 years as reporter and columnist at The News & Observer, and his readers will suffer as a result.

Before heading out of town on his motorcycle, however, Rogers set an example for colleagues in ways he might not have expected.

You see, Rogers embraced changes in technology that allowed him to do his job in a variety of different ways.

As times changed in his career from typewriters and hot lead type to PDAs, wireless laptops, hand-held video cameras and the Internet, so did Rogers. As others fought change, Rogers embraced it.

Over the final months of his career, Rogers filed podcasts so people could hear him on the road or while they were out jogging.

Rogers told me that on one recent assignment, his wife shot video from the back of his motorcycle.

He blogged, too.

Over the years, Rogers also did some video commentary at WRAL TV.

None of us is getting any younger, but if we take advantage of the opportunities technology provides we can communicate with our readers and viewers better than ever before. Plus, we offer them ways to communicate better with us from e-mails to comment sections.

Rogers helped show the way.

So here’s a tip of the Skinny’s hat to Dennis. May your retirement be a good one.